(319) 472-6200

Activities Update:

Hello and Cheers to the end of another week, the last full week of June.

Last week’s bingo winners were Marie and Karen. Congratulations ladies!

This week started off wonderful! Sunday was Father’s Day, and I was able to spend the day with many father’s and give them a “Big Hug.” I know, it is not the same for you as being there yourself, but they all were reminded that they are special, appreciated and loved. The Fathers all received a leather strap bracelet with a silver band that said, “#1 Dad.” Dads were so surprised, happy, and pleased. Most said they had talked to family already or family was to call later.

Monday was National Onion Ring Day.  Jen made onion rings for everyone. That was a great treat! We could not find for sure why we have a National Onion Ring Day. All we found out was that there was an onion ring type recipe in a cookbook in 1802 and then another showed up in a New York newspaper in 1910. A Texas based chain claims it had a big part in the creation of the onion ring. A&W helped them reach widespread popularity. We all came to the same conclusion…we do not care who or where they came from… they are delicious!

We have a contest going this week, everyone had to tell us three good things. Everyone that was able to do that had their name put in a drawing for a big candy bar. Stay tuned next week for the winner.

Thursday was Jim Stueck’s birthday. He is always happy and teasing us and picking on us. We love it! Happy Birthday Jim!

We did some art work this week as well. Some painted, some colored with markers or pencils. We will get some pictures in next time. We are working on what we want to do in July.  Not sure yet what we will do, all I know is we will play BINGO, eat, and keep smiling.

Hope you all do as well. Stay Happy!

As we continue to work toward Phase II of the Nursing Home Reopening plan, we completed mass staff COVID testing on June 23rd. As of this writing, all of the results we have back are negative. My fingers are crossed that continues as we continue to get the remainder of the results. We are required to meet the following metrics before moving to Phase II (facilities have the discretion to be more restrictive as they deem appropriate).

  1. 14 days since last suspected case (met)
  2. Adequate staffing levels (met)
  3. Adequate PPE for Conventional Use (discussion and planning in progress)
  4. Ability of local hospital to accept transfers (met)
  5. Capable of cohorting residents with dedicated staff in the in the case of suspected or positive cases (discussion and planning in progress)
  6. Downward trend in the county over 14 days (not met)

As part of our plan to meet these requirements, we have changed the way we are using personal protective equipment (PPE). Wednesday we began using changing masks each time we enter a quarantine room. “Quarantine” refers to well residents that are in isolation due to leaving the building for medically necessary appointments/dialysis/new admissions (i.e. they are not ill, they have just had exposure outside the facility and we take precautions to protect the other residents). Thursday we changed from reusing washable gowns to a new disposable gown for each interaction with a resident in quarantine. Today we will change from getting a new face mask every week to getting a new face mask every day. We wear these masks under our face shields during all other resident interactions. In order to meet the requirement for PPE in Conventional Use, we have to have enough to change at each resident interaction.

Please know that we are working hard to get to the place where we can allow visitors. That happens in Phase III and will likely be a limited number of people in a designated space during specific hours and will require have a health screen and PPE for visitors. We have to have 14 days in Phase II before moving to Phase III. If at any time there is regression in our ability to get PPE, COVID suspected/positive residents or staff, staffing levels, or county trends, we may have to revert back to Phase I and start over again.

The Department of Inspections and Appeals (State) was here yesterday to do their on-site inspection of our infection control practices for COVID. They had wonderful things to say about the staff they observed. While they had a few suggestions, they did not find any deficiencies in our practice. I want to give a shout out to the staff that have been so diligent to keep the residents safe during this unprecedented time. 

I realize this has gone on for a long period of time, and everyone is frustrated. We are working hard to keep everyone happy, healthy, and in good spirits. Here is contact information if you feel you would like to share your concerns about the Iowa Guidance on Phased Easing of Restrictions for Long Term Care with the governor’s office: Electronically:  https://governor.iowa.gov/contact  Mail: Office of the Governor, Iowa State Capitol, 1007 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319 Phone: 515-281-5211 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. M-F                                                                                                   

Jessica Henkle, BS, RN-BC, NHA

Director of Long Term Care Services

Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab

Phone (319) 472-6347


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Weekly Update on COVID-19:

0 Confirmed Cases


FUN FACT: Summer officially has started! Saturday June 22, was the official first day of summer. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year.

Hospital employee wearing Personal protective equipment and holding her mentoring achievement certificate.Congratulations to Angela Wacha on completing “A Call To Mentoring” certification and becoming a Mentor for VGH Nursing & Rehab. The Direct Care Workforce is essential in providing the highest quality of care for long-term care residents. We celebrate Angela’s commitment to be a mentor with the ability to provide support, guidance and be a trusted advocate for her peers. The objective of mentorship is to develop employees who will have a full understanding of Virginia Gay Hospital’s mission and responsibilities. The Mentorship Program is a sharing of experiences and expertise to help with person and professional growth.

With the help of Nurse Manager Lisa Stein RN, these three young ladies were able to complete their clinical instruction to become eligible to take their state Certified Nursing Assistant Exam. All three passed with flying colors and are now officially certified. Congrats on your hard work and accomplishments Abbye Hendryx, Stormie Lokenvitz, and Kayla Griffith!


*For more information on Virginia Gay Hospital’s response to COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 Need to Know web page.